Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SOTU: Madam Speaker

**Editor's Note: This will be a rambling post as I watch President Bush's State of the Union Address.

I purposefully turned on CBS News to watch the first female anchor of a major nightly news introduce the first female Speaker of the House to preside over a State of the Union Address.

I really love when the justices of the Supreme Court file in.

There seems to be a theme emerging--special emphasis on the First Lady as well as Condie Rice leading in the President's cabinet. Though I found it particularly frustrating that a talking head felt the need to mention the array of colors the congresswomen chose...

I love that Brokaw is around to give his two cents. It is wonderful to have Katie Couric leading CBS, but I miss "The Brotherhood."

Maybe it's just me, but I got chills when the Sergeant at Arms announced "Madam Speaker, the President of the United States!"

A fairly quick trip to the podium.

This is history. Nancy Pelosi is going to be one of those people that we look back at with the same esteem if not more as Jeanette Rankin (or in our own state of Idaho, Gracie Pfost.)

Sure a lot of talk of bipartisanship. Not much of that when the Republicans held both houses tightly.

Nothing on Iraq.

Balance the federal budget without raising taxes. And let me just say Kempthorne up front is very strange. And not having to see Denny Hastert's ugly mug behind the President is refreshing.

Aww, the presidential hopefuls. Sure lotta shots of them.

You know who is the #1 proponent of earmarks? Other than Ted Stevens of course...Mr. Robert Byrd. You'd be surprised what that man has received in earmarks for the people of West Virginia. I wonder what the grand total is. In his 900 bazillion years in Congress probably billions.

John Warner scares the hell out of me.

Two things we should ditch in this country faster than we ditched the Edsel--No Child Left Behind and Bush's plan to reform Social Security.

Standard tax deduction for health insurance similar to deduction for dependents.

Mrs. Clinton looks a bit unhappy. Can't imagine why...

It has been 13 years since there was a division between the Speaker's party and the President's party. And I am going to go out on a limb and say I wasn't watching the SOTU then so I've never seen a Speaker not applaud each and every comment.

I LOVE Pat Leahy.

There it is--immigration. If President Bush wants bipartisanship he is going to have to convince a few members of his own party that they need to get on board. Temporary worker program is do-able. Comprehensive immigration reform. Comprehensive is a word that I find overused in politics.

Still nothing on Iraq.

And no mention of Leiberman.

Reduce gasoline usage by 20% in next 10 years.

Vilsack could stand a chance. How do people in Iowa feel about ethanol?

Hurry, look up smug in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of Dick Cheney.

I'm not sure when I said this, I really understood how great it would be.

I thought maybe we'd be without a mention of 9/11, but of course I didn't bet any money on it. "To win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy." I'm not sure reminding the American people of all of the victories we've made, findings of terrorist plots, etc. really makes up for the bungling of Iraq. And certainly not in the minds of Americans who believe we went to Iraq because of 9/11.

Still not really a definitive mentioning of Iraq.

Iran before Iraq. And it's five years since 9/11, not six.

It seems the camera man has either picked Hillary Clinton as the front runner or he likes her pearls. I suppose the camera person could be a woman and in which case she isn't at all interested in what Hillary is wearing because only the men are worried about the most powerful women in the United States are wearing tonight.

"Every one of us wishes this war were over and won."

Do you think they have a person working for each news agency that gets to identify each of the people the camera picks out of the crowd? I'd like that to be my job...

Similar to my no Iraq comment--no Ted Kennedy.

Special Advisory Council on the War or Terror. I think LBJ had something like this in regard to the War on Poverty. It evidently wasn't effective or well-known if I can't seem to remember the name of this "council."

How does Congress increase the size of the active military?

President Bush seems to have the same problem with peninsula as he does the word nuclear.

We're speaking out for peace in Cuba? Wow. That's a new one. We haven't touched that one in awhile.

And it's about damn time we care about Darfur.

Wesley Autrey is a nice addition to the distinguished guests and honorees at the SOTU. Baby Einstein seemed to be an odd addition to the group, though. Maybe Baby Einstein has saved lives. I don't know.

Both President Bush and Senator McCain do a lot of winking. Not at each other. But winking nonetheless.

The cause does go on.

Senator Kerry darted out quick.

There seem to be several domestic reforms President Bush would like to take on. Maybe foreign failures have shifted his focus. And it certainly wouldn't hurt anything if he picked up a few issues that the Democrats have been touting for awhile. This is by no means the same George W. Bush that presented the State of the Union in January of 2002.

It will certainly be interesting to see Senator Webb give the Democratic response.


Jared said...

Umm...Tara, it has been 7 years since the Speaker and President were of different parties: Speaker Hastert and President Clinton in 2000.

Tara A. Rowe said...

Oh...hello. I bet I was watching the SOTU then, but who knows.